🔼The name Abiasaph: Summary
- The Father Gathers, My Father Has Gathered, Father Of Gathering
- From (1) the noun אב ('ab), father, and (2) the verb אסף (asap), to gather or collect.
🔼The name Abiasaph in the Bible
The name Abiasaph occurs just once in the Bible. In Exodus 6:24 Abiasaph is mentioned among the sons of Korah, son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, son of Jacob. In 1 Chronicles 6:23 this genealogy occurs again but with slightly different names. Abiasaph is here, and in 1 Chronicles 9:19, called Ebiasaph (אביסף), which is generally considered to be the same name (although it lacks the central א).
🔼Etymology of the name Abiasaph
The name Abiasaph consists of two parts. The first element is the same as the name Abi, which occurs only as a feminine name in the Bible. It comes, however, from a word that's used most frequently as element of names, namely אב ('ab), meaning father:
The noun אב ('ab) means father, but describes primarily a social relationship rather than a biological one. That social fatherhood was the defining quality of the community's alpha male, the one around whom all economy revolved and from whom emanated all instructions by which the 'sons' (בן, ben) operated. It's unclear where this word אב ('ab) comes from but the verb abu means to decide.
The word ab postfixed by the letter yod means either my father, or father of.
The second element of the name Abiasaph comes from the verb אסף (asap), meaning to gather or collect:
The verb אסף (asap), means to gather or collect, mostly in reference to harvests, and with a connotation of removal. The nouns noun אסף (osep), אסיף (asip), אסף (asop), אספה (asepa), אספה (assupa) and אספסף (asapsup) all express nuances of the act of gathering, things gathered, collections or storages. Also note the similarities in form with the ספף סוף ספה (spp swp sph) cluster of words, which all have to do with the extraction of one continuum from another.
For a meaning of the name Abiasaph, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads The Father Gathers. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Father Of Gathering. And BDB Theological Dictionary has My Father Has Gathered.